don't worry, it's probably fine

Notes from the Week #9

19 Nov 2018


The consistency of my mind feels akin to my thoughts being wrapped in some kind of cling-film as I’m coming out of last week’s cold, but the main theme of this week was coming back to things we’ve done or thought before.


Last year we attempted and subsequently abandoned a rebuild of our Nagios infrastructure. The reasons were many, including the state of the configuration being close to spaghetti, and the application’s ubiquity meant it had a lot of inertia and rebuilding it was quite dangerous - would we know if it wasn’t alerting properly?

We’re about to attempt this again, but now we feel confident that we can succeed:

  • The team are much more experienced in rebuilding our existing infrastructure
  • We’ve gotten good at delivering value in small slices and can much reason much more effectively about the dependencies within our systems
  • We’ve been deep in the Nagios weeds during our paging system rebuild to use Opsgenie (see last week’s weeknotes for more details)

I’m excited about this not only as we’ve been wanting to do this for ages but also because it showcases how much the team has grown in experience and confidence, to want to tackle this behemoth of our tech stack again.


I have maintained a healthy suspicion of Docker for some time now - a combination of having been burned by it in the past (when its RHEL support was much less stable than now) and a general skepticism towards something that seemingly spreads like wildfire through a community.

While a strong advocate of “solve the problem you have, not the one you want to have”, we’re experimenting with it for a fast feedback loop on testing our infrastructure code, and so far the experience has been quite slick!

In this scenario, I’m happy to be a bit late to the party if most of the kinks have been worked out already.

Re(st) and Re(cuperation)

I am absolutely terrible at being even slightly ill.

I took sick leave on Friday and spent the weekend relaxing with family, and for the first time in a long time managed to get lost in a fiction book.

I’m reading Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore - I’ve been a fan of Murakami’s books for years after a friend loaned me a copy of A Wild Sheep Chase.

Here’s to hoping that I’m able to continue my rediscovery of reading for pleasure!


I picked up on the excellent Mouth Moods this week, a continuous mashup-cum-remix of many unexpected combinations (see Drowning Pool’s Let The Bodies Hit The Floor vs Popcorn, and the innuendo-laden remix of Ghostbusters).